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Show of support for seminarians

THE FUTURE of the Universal Church has been further bolstered by Missio Scotland after St Paul’s Major Seminary in Fort Portal, Uganda, recently received financial support from the Pope’s official charity for missions to the tune of £21,600.

Missio Scotland recently established a partnership with the seminary due, in part, to its links with Sister Stella Maris Niwagira, a Sister of St Peter Claver who spent some time at the sisters’ residence in Bellshill. Sr Stella is currently National Secretary for the Pontifical Society of St Peter the Apostle (SPA)—the society that supports the training of priests, religious and pastoral workers—in Uganda.

“On behalf of the seminary community, I acknowledge with gratitude the receipt of $27,770.49 from Missio Scotland, as financial support for the formation of seminarians in St Paul’s Seminary,” Fr Lazarus Luyinda, the seminary’s rector, said. “We sincerely appreciate all our dear benefactors/benefactresses for their generosity. This academic year, 2018/19 began in September with a student population of 195 seminarians. There are also 14 resident priests carrying out the mission of formation and training future priests for the Church. We look forward to a fraternal collaboration in the mission of the Church.”

St Paul’s Seminary was founded and opened in August 1992. It was intended to cater for the annually increasing number of candidates who apply to join priestly formation and training. Qualifying candidates are admitted from all 19 dioceses of Uganda and, at times, from neighbouring Rwanda and South Sudan too.

As part of their formation, seminarians are asked several times a week to involve themselves in manual labour to contribute to the good of the community. As well as participating in sporting activities and games, they also belong to various clubs, movements and associations such as the Legion of Mary, the Apostleship of Prayer, the Ugandan Martyrs Guild and Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Over the past 26 years many blessings and achievements have been recognised: More than 540 candidates have been ordained priests and are serving the Church in various areas; the structure of the seminary itself has been improved; several former students now work all across Uganda; pastoral and spiritual guidance have been offered to many individuals and groups; and employment opportunities have also been created for the surrounding population and further afield.

“Missio Scotland has had a long association with different parts of the Catholic Church in Uganda over the past 70 years and we are delighted now to be involved with the training of young men for the priesthood there,” Fr Vincent Lockhart, Missio Scotland’s National Director, said. “Hopefully our relationship will be a long one and we will get to know some of these young men and they will get to know the people of Scotland.”

Without your help, mission dioceses throughout the world would struggle to fund the training of the priests, sisters and pastoral workers that they so urgently need. The pastoral workers of today seek to build the Church of tomorrow. You can give the gift of faith by sponsoring a future priest or by donating to the SPA.

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To donate to Missio Scotland, visit: call us on: 01236 449774 or send donations to: Missio Scotland, St. Andrews, 4 Laird Street, Coatbridge ML5 3LJ

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